Moving From Wink -> Help To Recreate The Experience

Im moving over from Wink and had some questions about setting up OpenHAB, devices compatibility etc.

I have the following devices :

  • GE Zwave Plus Switches
  • Lutron Dimmer + remote
  • Centralite Water Sensor Zigbee
  • Ring Doorbell
  • MyQ Garage Controller

I have ordered the GoControl HUSBZB-1 USB Hub

I also happen to have an old nuc with an 3rd generation i3 processor and 8 gbs of ram and platter drive, running Windows 8.1

  • Is it better to go with Xubuntu or stick with Windows ?
  • Does anyone have any experience with the Centralite Water sensors ?
  • Is anyone else using the HUSBZB-1 usb or have suggestions for one that is more compatible with OpenHAB ( I still have time to cancel the order )?
  • Wink has a feature called Home Sitter which is described as “Home Sitter is a lighting service in the Wink app that makes it look like you’re home when you’re away. Home Sitter turns your Wink-compatible lighting products on and off in a natural cadence to mimic human activity.” Is there any way to mimic that ?

Thank you for the help and cant wait to wire up everything.


Xubuntu would be better supported here. Most users run a Debian-based Linux.
Our Z-Wave & Zigbee developer is very helpful & dedicated. Remember though, he is in the UK, not North America.

I have used Z-Wave with that controller and configured Zigbee, but have no devices. That controller is now on my test system since I moved to a different Z-Wave controller…

OpenHAB is very flexible but I do nor recall having seen something like that. Perhaps @rlkoshak or @5iver have seen something. I have only been around here about a year.

Thank you very much Bruce. Ill get Xubuntu on this device going so that if I need help ( for sure I will ) that it will be easier. Good to know that the USB device does work with OpenHAB and linux.

I heard about the move which Wink made, I suppose that’s why are you changing “vendors”.

Regarding that feature: openHAB is really flexible. It might not be that easy to setup as a branded smart home hub, but you can do much-much more. You are basically not restricted to functions provided by the software.
You can easily write a rule that will do the same. You somehow connect your phone to openHAB (there is also more way to do this…) and check for its presence. If not you can write a rule that will randomly choose a light and change its state with random interval.
I’m not going to say that this is easy to do in openHAB, but you can do this and much more than this!
However I suggest you to become familiar with this whole system first.

yes Im moving exactly for that reason after Wink added the subscription model.
Thats good to know that OpenHAB will be able to do something and is flexible enough for me to write something on my own. I was wondering if there were recipes others had done that I could just steal borrow :slight_smile:

Also if I set up openHAB on docker, will myopenhab work with it? Do I have to do something special if I use docker?

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@rlkoshak can answer this better, but the answer here is:
There are a lot of great tutorials here on the forum which you can almost copy and paste into your instance.
However there is a new rule engine which is used by a few of us (and might be the default one in the upcoming openHAB 3 release - someone please correct me if I’m wrong), which will support some kind of rule “templates” so you don’t have to write it for your own. You just need to specify a few parameters. I think that will be a huge, it will be much more like the “usual” systems out here.

It depends on your skills mainly I think. Docker is the most “beautiful” way nowadays to host multiple services on one device - but at first it might be harder to config. However I think myopenhab will not require any additional setup to work from Docker - but I’m not sure, since I didn’t used openHAB from Docker before - but almost all my other services run from Docker…

If you are installing any Linux distribution on your device, I suggest you to have a look at openHabian. That will download and configure everything for you to be able to run openHAB on your device, automatically - just not in Docker. I think this is the least painful way to get started with openHAB.

Linux is better for all of the obvious reasons and more. Pick a distro that suits you. I’m very happy with Fedora.

In the US, this is probably your best option. It works well, provides both Zigbee and Z-Wave, and it costs half as much. I’ve been using one for a couple years now and have a backup that I also use for testing. You’ll find lots of info in the forum

Welcome to the forum!

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Welcome to OpenHAB!

There are many ways to do this. One way is to have the system record your actual activity for one week (or how ever long you want), and then play that back when you’re away. Another way is to use Google Calendar integration, and you can then just edit which light goes on/off when using Google Calendar’s interface. I opted a simpler random way through coding my own logic. You can also pick which things (lights, tvs, radio, curtains, etc) are involved in this “presence simulation”, simply because OpenHAB is extremely flexible.

When you get to the point to actually do it, post here what you’re trying / wanting, and someone will probably help you out.

I run my OpenHAB on docker, on a computer running Centos 7. You pick whichever you’re most familiar with and like to use, but I would highly recommend using docker on linux. Many people run openhab on raspberrypi too. Yes my system is linked to myopenhab, Google Assistant / Google Home mini, etc, and I use the openhab android app on my phone while I’m out.

Please let us know how your Docker installation progresses. I have started, in my spare time, to try and simplify & standardize somewhat a workable Docker install process.
I am by no means a Docker expert. but, for what it is (not) worth, here is my meager progress, so far. I have not tested with any bindings so I think the serial port pieces neede to be added manually. i tried structuring where everything possible is in /opt/openhab and the docker config in /opt/openhab/docker

Comments are welcomed.


Thank you so much for the reply. The presence simulation is exactly what I was looking for . Looks like linux is the way to go it seems like, so off with Windows.

Ill update with my progress once I get the USB stick, which is scheduled for May 18th.

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I would suggest starting a new topic if you’d like to discuss it.

I don’t do much with computers on the weekend these days so sorry I’m late.

There are Windows users here but I think most are on Windows 10. I’m not sure what differences you will see if you stick with Windows. Personally I would not recommend running your home automation on an unsupported or soon to be unsupported OS.

That being said, most users here on the forum are running some Debian based variant (Raspbian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc.) so Xubuntu should be fine.

Hopefully someone can answer. Not me.

I use it and am happy with it. It works great for Zwave and the few Zigbee devices I have work very well too. However, the binding developer for both has mentioned that the firmware on it cannot be updated so as new versions of Zwave and Zigbee come out there will be things that we can’t to. For the time being I’m quite happy with it.

In OH this is best achieved using Rules. I prefer use a playback approach. Configure persistence on OH and when you are away the Rule runs once every five minutes and changes the lights to what ever state they were in seven days ago when you were home.

rule "Simulate lights"
    Time cron "0 0/5 * * * ?"
    if(Presence.state != ON){
        gLights.members.forEach[light | light.sendCommand(light.historicState(now.minusHours(24)).state)]

My thought is it’s better to play back actual behavior than generating random behavior.

Because it’s code you can customize it to your heart’s content. It also means there are lots of other alternatives.

Search the forums which are awash in examples you can use. There are generic tutorials that show an overall approach for how to solve a common problem (see the Design Pattern Posts) as well as very specific tutorials. If you use Scripted Automation (I recommend doing so) there are a number of community submissions to the Helper Libraries which can be configured and reused as well.

Yes. As long as you follow the instructions for deploying the container and do not restrict the container so it can’t connect to the Internet it will work fine. If you deviate from the suggested configuration all bets are off.

I personally run in Docker and have done so for years. If you plan on running a bunch of services in addition to OH on that Nuc it’s a great choice.

However, if that machine will be dedicated to your home automation, you might consider using openHABian. You can download and run it manually. This will give you a way to install and configure OH but a host of related services you might also want to run in a predefined and known to work way. If you are just getting started, especially if you are new to Linux, it’s the fastest way to get up and running and it helps us help you as well since we will know exactly how everything is configured.

Start a new thread or comment on GitHub? Probably shouldn’t hijack this one. A couple of initial comments:

  • I’d recommend getting docker from their repo rather than relying on the OS repo, which tends to be quite a bit behind.
  • You shouldn’t have to have the .service file. You can run the container with the -d option (not sure what the docker-compose equivalent is) and docker will relaunch the containers at boot. No need to involve systemd for this.
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I am currently using docker-compose in my testing Did not know about -d

I have been running OpenHab and wink together for a long time I was using the never really supported Wink Binding. I had close to 40 devices in wink. This weekend I upgraded OpenHab to 2.5 configured the home kit plugin and using a Aeotek Zwave USB dongle and HUSBZB-1 dongle for Ziggbe. It works really well the the Homekit app replaces the Wink app functionality advanced rules in Openhab and the Openhab Alexa integration and nothing is missing and much faster. I am running my Openhab on a 4gb PI 4 that network boots from my NAS so no SD cards and its fast and so far rock solid. I even rooted my Wink Relays and am using MQTT though OpenHab to control the switches with he OpenHab android app on the screen.

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Thank you so much, this is exactly what I was looking for :slight_smile:

why are you running with two sticks ?

I had the Zwave stick first and then added the Zigbee stick when I realized I needed to move everything. I could probably consolidate to one.

I have a HUSBZB-1 & another Z-Wave stick.

Since I do not use Zigbee I relegated the HUSBZB-1 to a test openHAB system. That lets me experiment some with openHAB without impacting my production system. It has also been helpful in troubleshooting for others.

I just wanted to update that I finished setting up the husbzb and the links helped me tremendously. All the zwave & zigbee sensors are showing up. I then did the whole items file thing but still left the zigbee ones due to some issues ( questions later). Google Assistant is hooked up. Next up notifications and hiding the unnecessary items from Control.

Thank you so much for helping me getting started

If you mean in Paper UI, dont… Paper UI is for administration. To view and control Items, use HABPanel or Basic UI.

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